Hallandale Beach Blog -A common sense public policy overview offering a critical perspective on the current events, politics, govt., public policy, sports scene and pop culture of the U.S., South Florida and Europe, especially the UK and Sweden. In particular, Broward & Miami-Dade County, and the cities of Hallandale Beach, Hollywood & Aventura. Trust me when I tell you, this part of Florida is NOT the Land of Lincoln. Pictured in upper-left is Hallandale Beach's iconic beachball-colored Water Tower on State Road A1A; September 2008 photo by me, South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

HB citizens continue to oppose trash plant on Ansin Blvd.

I hate to admit it but I was a no-show Monday night.

I had really hoped to be at Monday night's meeting at the Hallandale Beach Cultural Community Center to hear what -if anything- Hallandale Beach's elected officials and city
employees were now going to say about the city's proposed trash plant, which the city's officials desperately want.
The reason is because I've known for years about the deep level of frustration -and then, ennui- felt by residents of the NW part of Hallandale Beach, who've long felt they were being treated as second-class citizens -by their own city.

Lest you think after reading the articles below by Thomas Monnay and Jasmine Kriplani, that the individuals interviewed by them were just a handful of the sort of people you can find in any town in the country, always upset and disgruntled by something, regardless of the issue, let me set you straight now: you're wrong.
The level of anger, disappointment and discontent these citizens feel on this particular issue, as well as some others, is quite real, and NOT at all below the surface.
I know this because I recall vividly what I saw and heard at a number of HB City Commission meetings I attended in 2006, where I took my usual copious notes.

During the public comments portion of those 2006 hearings, I heard many speakers talk from the heart about their concerns regarding the proposed trash plant and the negative effect its location would have on them and their part of HB, as well as their perception that the project seemed to be inching closer and closer to fruition, even before they'd get in their two cents.
No matter how many times Mayor Joy Cooper and City Manager Mike Good repeatedly said that it was simply not the case, that there was a process that would be followed, the public
speakers I saw and heard seemed quite unconvinced.
(I wasn't aware then of the whole swimmming pool debacle situation from back in 1993, since that happened while I was still living in the Washington, D.C. area then. That was a devastating fact to drop into the story, which really calls into question the city's past treatment of this neighborhood, )

The clear perception that they publicly expressed then -and continue to express- was that they were HB citizens who'd once again been overlooked and neglected.
Now as I understand it, there'd apparently been either one meeting -or a series of meetings- that had long been planned for Fall 2005, wherein HB city officials and elected officials would meet with citizens from NW HB and specifically address their deeply-felt concerns.

But nature intervened in the City of Hallandale Beach's plans when this area suffered thru a series of hurricanes and powerful storms in quick succession, ones that really shook up the area,
leaving large portions of South Florida, including HB, without electricity for weeks.
Yours truly, in fact, was without electricity for roughly about 17 days, even while I could clearly see the nearby condo towers in Aventura burning bright in the night sky.
Still, I could go to the nearby Target and the Whole Foods on N.E. 213th Street whenever I wanted to get my usual supply of odds and ends.
During the blackout, for the first time since being down here, I even had some coffee at the Whole Foods a couple of times, while reading my New York Times in between bites of bagels. The coffee was NOT nearly as good as Denny's!
But the minute I stepped thru my own door -BOOM!- it was back to living the pre-Thomas Edison days of America.

(For a sports fan like me, this power outage happened at the worst possible time -during the college and NFL seasons AND the World Series between the Chicago White Sox and the Houston Astros. http://www.baseball-almanac.com/ws/wsmenu.shtml
Consequently, while I listened to every World Series game on the radio, with Jon Miller and Joe Morgan connecting the dots, I never saw an actual WS game highlight until weeks later after the power had been restored.
That meant that I couldn't watch my old stand-by, the WGN News, the night the White Sox swept the Astros, and see the city of Chicago celebrate its first baseball title since... well, a few weeks before WWI ended in 1917.)


As a result of the storms and hurricanes, the planned meeting(s) on the trash plant were pushed back to the proverbial back-burner, until a sense of normalcy was restored in HB; whatever that is.
But in the weeks and months after the recovery -which I think HB did a very poor job of handling, compared to other local municipalities I visited- while HB City Manager Mike Good met with other HB homeowner and civic groups, the meeting he and HB's elected officials and city employees were supposed to have with the residents of NW HB -about the trash plant- never materialized.

So, the perception had become the reality as far as these particular speakers were concerned:
six months after the original meeting(s) was scheduled, many of them remain convinced that HB was using the post-storm and hurricane period as a cover for avoiding that formal meeting, even as Mike Good was meeting with other HB groups.
Other groups that the speakers at those public hearings honestly felt hadn't even the faintest idea as to how they felt about it. Out of sight, out of mind.

See CBS4's story and video at http://cbs4.com/local/hallandale.beach.trash.2.602088.html
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www.sun-sentinel.com/news/local/broward/sfl-flbtrash1204sbdec04,0,22094.story
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Hallandale hopes to salvage plans for trash plant
By Thomas Monnay
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
December 4, 2007

HALLANDALE BEACH
In the face of a public outcry, city officials said Monday they still hope to save money by building a solid waste transfer station on 2.5 acres of industrial land in the city's northwest section.
Neighbors, however, strongly oppose the project, saying it might create a health hazard and bring down property values.
"They're talking about saving money; we're talking about saving lives," said James Tucker, vice president of the Community Civic Association of Hallandale Beach. "We're such a small [city], it's a safety issue to have a solid waste station in our community."

To explain the need for the station and address residents' concerns, city officials held a town hall meeting Monday at the Cultural Community Center. More than 100 citizens turned out, most of them in opposition to the plan.
The project has been planned for a $2.9 million property the city bought last year at 310 Ansin Blvd. The site is in an industrial district just east of Interstate 95 and between Hallandale Beach Boulevard and Pembroke Road that includes warehouses and manufacturing businesses.
Ironically, city commissioners in 1998 rejected a private trash station for the same property, giving as a reason the fact it's in an industrial zoning district.
City officials say the station would save Hallandale Beach more than $1.2 million a year in transportation costs because sanitation workers now travel 2½ hours round-trip to dispose of the city's trash at a Waste Management site on U.S. 27 in Pembroke Pines.
"It's an alternative to address long-term cost to solid waste disposal," Mayor Joy Cooper said. "It's in an industrial area, it's not adjacent to any single residential use."
Cooper said commissioners will vote on the project Dec. 19. She said the city chose not to use another site it owns in the northwest section because that site is closer to residences.
Opponents say the Ansin Boulevard property is not suitable for a waste station because it's blocks away from homes and that is too close.
Carlos Simmons, president of the Community Civic Association of Hallandale Beach, spoke for many of the opponents. "I don't think it should go there. I'm concerned about the environmental issues. I'm concerned about quality of life in general."
Before any vote is taken, Simmons said, a committee should be formed of citizens and civic leaders who would visit a similar trash transfer station in order to be better informed.
Some northwest activists say the city promised to hold several meetings to discuss the project, but now they are concerned residents won't be given enough time to provide feedback.
"We're kind of surprised this issue has come up so quickly," said Jessica Sanders, chairman of the Palms of Hallandale Beach Weed and Seed, a drug prevention and economic development program.
Tony Spadaccia, a waste management spokesman, said his company would spend $1 million to build the station and operate it under a contact being negotiated with Hallandale Beach.
A rendering of the project shows an office building in front of a tall, enclosed structure resembling a huge barn. The property is landscaped with palms, shrubs and other trees.
Spadaccia said trash dropped at the station would be taken to a landfill in Pompano Beach. He said residents would not be charged to drop off their trash and the facility would be cleaned and washed every night.
"There will be no odor, no rodents and no health concerns as a result of this facility," Spadaccia said.

Thomas Monnay can be reached at tmonnay@sun-sentinel.com or 954-385-7924.
Copyright © 2007, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
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http://www.miamiherald.com/news/broward/story/327634.html

Miami Herald
Hallandale neighborhood's residents oppose trash dump site
By Jasmine Kripalani jkripalani@MiamiHerald.com
December 2, 2007

Hallandale Beach's majority black neighborhood might be the site of a new garbage dump, and many residents are saying the whole deal stinks.
''Why here? Why in this neighborhood?'' said Jeri Choice, whose house on Northwest Third Court overlooks the city water plant. "Why can't it be in the southwest or southeast section?''
City officials say the site, 310 Ansin Blvd. in the Palms area near the city's sanitation and public works departments, is the only place available in the 4 ½-square-mile city.
''All the areas being built-out,'' Mayor Joy Cooper said, "this site came up and it was ideal.''
Residents in that part of town have long complained of neglect by city government.
They often bring up the city's decision in 1993 not to repair the Dixie pool at 745 NW Ninth Ave. At the time, the city said the $300,000 needed was too costly.
Instead, the city poured concrete over it and promised residents a skating rink. But too few kids used it and it was eventually shut down.
Cooper said she would like to work with the Broward County School Board to replace the pool.
''We're in full support trying to get an Olympic-size pool there,'' Cooper said. "I'd love to see the pool there.''
There are no minorities on the city commission and none of the commissioners live in the area. Hallandale Beach doesn't have districts. All commissioners are elected at-large. The northwest section hasn't had an elected representative from that neighborhood since they elected John Saunders in 1971. He served until 1979 but has since moved to Plantation.
Last year, residents signed a petition asking leaders to switch from citywide elections to single-member districts. Leaders voted it down.
Environmental and waste experts are scheduled to address residents' concerns about the safety of the dump at a forum on Monday night.
''They are going to put it there, regardless of whether we object to it,'' said Pastor Anthony Sanders, who lives less than a quarter-mile from the proposed facility. "We're going to be the community adversely affected by this.''
He and others are planning to attend Monday's meeting.
On the east side, luxury, ocean-view condominiums are sprouting.
Now their garbage might end up in the northwest section's backyard, where apartments barely elicit a second glance and some businesses display ripped awnings.

STORAGE AREA
Garbage experts and city officials say the facility is not exactly a dump but a ''transfer storage facility.'' The city's 65 tons average of daily garbage would be stored there for only a few hours and taken to a landfill every night, Cooper said.
''The area would be buffered and landscaped. We want residents to understand the process and what it entails,'' Cooper said.
Cooper said experts at Monday's meeting would answer questions about odor, safety and pests.
Jeffery Halsey, a division director for the Broward County Environmental Protection Department, will be among the experts.
''Material will not be stored there overnight. That makes us feel a little better about odor concerns,'' Halsey said. ``We routinely inspect them once every four months to reduce the likelihood of having these problems.''

IN A RUSH
Some residents also said the city is rushing to approve the project.
Last year, when residents heard of the project, the city called a meeting and promised more town hall forums.
The first one is set for two weeks before commissioners are scheduled to vote on the project at an initial hearing.
Waste Management has proposed to build and manage the controversial facility. In exchange, the city would have to approve a long-term contract with the company.
Waste Management charges the city $72 for every ton of garbage it hauls to the landfill.
The city purchased the land for $1.8 million last year, aiming to keep the city's garbage collectors from driving 30 miles to the Waste Management facility at U.S. 27 and Pembroke Road in Pembroke Pines.
The city estimates the new facility would save it more than $1.2 million in fuel, maintenance on trucks and personnel, said Mike Fernandez of the city's sanitation department. The move would allow the city to eliminate some vacant positions.
''`What is the city going to do to give back to the community?'' Sanders said.
State Rep. Joe Gibbons, D-Hallandale Beach, who was the city's second black commissioner, has suggested setting up a fund from a special garbage fee to enhance the neighborhood.

`SOME ANGER'
''There's some anger in this community because they feel they have been shortchanged,'' Gibbons said.
Ten years ago, there was a bulk trash dump site on Eighth Avenue just north of West Hallandale Beach Boulevard. But that has since been cleaned up and apartments have been built over it.

If you go to the meeting about a proposed garbage dump

• Hallandale Beach commissioners will have an informational meeting about a proposed northwest-section trash transfer facility at 6:30 p.m. Monday at the Hallandale Beach Cultural Community Center, 410 SE Third St.
• City commissioners could make a final decision on the issue at a 7 p.m. meeting on Dec. 19 at City Hall, 400 S. Federal Hwy.

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